Team Nicaragua | The Power of Touch

The power of touch

When we are impacted by someone’s journey we say their story touched us.

When music moves us to tears it’s referred to as touching.

When we grieve, nothing means more than someone sitting by our side - a physical reminder of being together.

When we need comfort, a hand on the back brings warmth.

A simple touch can change our world.

I’m reminded of this while watching clinic today. We are seeing patients come in with various illnesses and different levels of need. The one thing these doctors provide them all with is touch. Taking blood pressure and placing a simple hand on their arm to comfort any anxieties about seeing a provider; A team member praying with a patient and placing a hand on their shoulder; A volunteer picking up a crying kid so their parents can get their vitals taken in peace; A nurse helping a child take medicine and holding their head; A volunteer shaking a patients hand, looking them in the eye, and taking a moment to hear their story.

The community here is both relieved and excited to receive this touch, but I think the part that impacts me most today is watching how overjoyed the providers are to bring this care - this healing touch. They are spending time with patients - not just listening to ailments but to real stories. They aren’t rushing, aren’t discounting the small moments of impact. Healthcare in the United States can feel disconnected and sterile, like you have to fight to be truly heard. In these One World Health clinics, an eager listening ear can always be found. A simple touch is near. The local providers are proving that access to quality healthcare shouldn’t be determined by a place of birth. These touch points are reminders of the dignity and care that is deserved by all.

+ Madeline Harper Benavides